Historic Hudson Valley
America’s ‘Founding Father of Literature’ created a romantic, Picturesque estate nestled along the Hudson riverbank. One of American’s first celebrity homes remains a delight to behold.
The grounds reflect Washington Irving’s romantic view of art, nature, and history. He arranged garden paths, trees and shrubs, vistas, and water features to appear natural, and planted an exotic wisteria vine (still growing) to envelope the house. Irving’s contemporaries extensively described and illustrated Sunnyside during his lifetime. And since Sunnyside and many of its furnishings remained in the family, a visit here is one of the most authentic experiences of mid-19th century life anywhere in the country.
Getting here by car
From Manhattan: Take the Henry Hudson Parkway North into the Saw Mill River Parkway. Take Exit 21W onto Route 119. At the end of the exit ramp turn right. Take Route 119 to the end. Turn left at the traffic light onto Route 9 South. Continue approximately one mile to traffic light on Route 9 at West Sunnyside Lane. Turn right onto West Sunnyside Lane; then turn right and continue to the parking area.
Getting here by train: Metro-North’s Hudson Line trains depart Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Take the express to Tarrytown (just 36 minutes from Manhattan) where cabs wait to meet trains. The cab ride to Sunnyside is approximately 5 minutes. Though not necessary, you can reserve a cab: 914-631-TAXI. Check the train schedule online, or call 1-800-METRO-INFO.
Old Westbury Gardens
Old Westbury Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the former home of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps and their four children. Completed in 1906 by the English designer George A. Crawley, the magnificent Charles II-style mansion is nestled amid 160 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. Westbury House is furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from the more than fifty years of the family’s residence.
71 Old Westbury Road., PO Box 430, Old Westbury, NY 11568
By Car: From the Long Island Expressway: Take the LIE (I-495) to Exit 39 (Glen Cove Road). Follow the service road east for approximately 1.1 miles, turn right onto Old Westbury Road and continue 0.4 miles. The Gardens’ gate is on the left.
From the Northern State Parkway: Take the Northern State to Exit 32 (Post Avenue). Bear left at end of exit ramp and turn left onto Post Avenue heading north. Turn left onto Jericho Turnpike (Route 25) and turn right at the first light onto Old Westbury Road. The Gardens’ gate is on the right.
By Train: Take Long Island Rail Road to Westbury Station, then a taxi to Old Westbury Gardens approximately 2.5 miles from the station.
Planting Fields/Coe Hall
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, 1395 Planting Fields Road Oyster Bay, NY 11771 www.plantingfields.org
The former estate of Standard Oil heiress Mai Rogers Coe and insurance magnate William Robertson Coe, is one of the few remaining Gold Coast estates on Long Island’s North Shore that retains its original 409 acres as well as its historic buildings and landscape. Rolling lawns, formal gardens, hiking trails and specimen plantings, as well as the Camellia Greenhouse and the Main Greenhouse, with its unique seasonal displays, are a treat for visitors year round.
Coe Hall contains many original pieces and furnishings once belonging to the Coe family, including the restored Louis XVI Reception Room. The mostly Elizabethan style interior of the Tudor Revival mansion is a showcase of artistry and craftsmanship in its wood and stone carvings, ironwork, 13th – 19th century stained glass windows and original commissioned murals by American artists Robert H. Chanler and Everett Shinn.
By Car: Long Island Expressway to Exit 41 North or Northern State Parkway to Exit 35 North. Proceed north on Route 106 towards Oyster Bay. Turn left onto 25A Northern Boulevard. Make first right onto Mill River Road. Follow green & white signs to the Arboretum on Planting Fields Road.
By Train: Oyster Bay is the last stop on the Oyster Bay line of the Long Island Railroad. Planting Fields is approximately 1 1⁄2 miles west.